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Could you offer a home to Rosie?

May 17th, 2015

Look, I wouldn’t do this normally but there are always exceptions and this is one. An elderly and terminally-ill owner brought her cat in for euthanasia, reluctantly, as part of the process of setting her affairs in order. But Rosie is a young and apparently healthy cat and I’m well past the stage (if I was ever in it) of euthanasing healthy animals (unless they pose a danger to people or other animals). So Rosie is here, at the clinic, waiting for a loving home.

She’s a desexed domestic medium-haired tortoiseshell and white cat. She was quite timid but I’ve just taken her out of the cage for a cuddle and  she’s starting to trust us. She seems a real sweetie and I think she’d be best suited to a home where she is the only pet and where she will be kept inside. If you or someone you know can offer her a home we’ll vaccinate and worm her to keep your costs down.

If you own and love cats but can’t help on this occasion, please read the last post in this blog on current retrovirus prevalence in WA – and act on it!

PS Thanks to Olivia, Rosie found a really good home in the country. We got a lovely Christmas card from her!

Posted in News

Never mind the Wookies, be very afraid of the retrovirus stats

May 17th, 2015

A long time ago in a galaxy far,far away a private veterinary laboratory did a remarkable thing. They tested every sample of blood from cats that they received for FIV. Every sample from every cat, and the results were frightening.

Now I have to do two things straightaway. One is to acknowledge George Lucas and his copyright on Wookies and the opening sentence in the excerpt. The second is to say that this really happened in Perth in the early nineties. Every feline blood sample sent to that laboratory was tested, and 1 in 3 tested positive for FIV (Feline Immunodeficiency Virus or Feline AIDS). But that was more than twenty years ago and these days vets have educated more cat owners to keep their pets inside and we’ve had a vaccine for quite a few years now and, well things just couldn’t be that bad still, could they?

In this age of corporatisation and cost recovery it seemed very unlikely such a public-spirited survey would ever be repeated. But this year, from various sources, a good estimate of the prevalence of FIV and Feline Leukaemia Virus (FeLV) has been put together, state by state throughout Australia. So let out a cheer parochial Sandgropers ‘cos yes we won! Both for FIV and FeLV. Easily. No, I don’t feel like celebrating either.

You’ll have to read (or scroll but shame on you if you do that!) to the end of the post to get the actual figures but, bearing in mind that the ’90s survey must have included a large proportion of sick cats (otherwise why would their blood have been sent to the lab anyway) and so be a skewed sample group. my take on this is that not a lot has changed, and I find that depressing, profoundly so.

So if we’re in the consult room discussing vaccinations for your cat be prepared that I may be a little more forceful in my recommendations. My advice has always been : If your cats are inside (or their only access outside is to a cat enclosure or walled courtyard which NO other cats can access) then vaccination for the basic diseases required by a boarding cattery (Feline Panleucopenia and Feline Respiratory Disease) is the most that is required. Mind you, if you have more than one cat in your home I’d want to know their FIV and FeLV status  and protect any at-risk cat with vaccination.

BUT, if you can’t/don’t/won’t keep your cat inside then he/she should be tested and  vaccinated for both FIV and FeLV, REALLY! FeLV is spread between cats by social contact (mutual grooming spreads the virus in the saliva from infected cats) and FIV is spread by anti-social contact (cat bites in plain english – you need a deep puncture wound to inject the virus into the tissues).

Yes that will cost you money but with 1 in 25 cats in WA carrying FeLV and a staggering 1 in 5 carrying FIV, will you be counting the dollars when your cat dies of diseases related to immune deficiency or cancer caused by these viruses?

Posted in News

Cat Registration – what you need to know

October 20th, 2013

From November 1st 2013 all cat owners must register their cats with their local authority and pay the appropriate fee.

Cats must be desexed and microchipped, and you will need to produce proof of desexing and microchipping to register. A sterilisation certificate from the veterinary practice that desexed your cat and the letter of confirmation from a microchip registry, showing your cat is registered with them and the number of the chip your cat carries, are ideal. You will need to complete a double-sided A4 application form available from the City of South Perth (or other appropriate local government jurisdiction).

The fees are $20 for 1 year, $42.50 for 3 years and $100 for life. You get a receipt and a numbered plastic tag to go on your cat’s collar.

Although the Cat Act was passed in 2011, any new legislation like this always seems to come upon us with a rush and at Millpoint we will do our best to help you meet the requirements of the act.

If you are a regular client of ours and your cat was desexed at Millpoint but you have mislaid your sterilisation certificate, we can print a duplicate free of charge.

If you are a regular client of ours now but your cat was desexed elsewhere, contact the vets who carried out the operation. If you don’t have this information, check to see if your cat has a sterilisation tattoo in his/her left ear. If they do and you present your cat at the clinic (appointment required) so I can sight the tattoo, I will draft a letter confirming they have been desexed. Again,there will be no charge for this.

If your cat is not microchipped we need to do this straightaway. As you are unlikely to receive paperwork from the microchip registry now before November 1st, we will give you a copy of the form we send to the registry. This should satisfy the council.

If your cat is microchipped but you have no record of the chip number, or if you are uncertain whether your cat is chipped or not: make an appointment for us to scan your cat and supply a supporting letter. There will be no charge for this if you are a regular client of this practice. Of course, if the cat has no chip we will need to insert one.

The form may look a bit daunting but I’ve just registered my own cat Waldo and the practice cat Hamish (more about him later elsewhere on the site) and it wasn’t too hard. I have always said that cats should be kept inside in Australia, and approve of all attempts to promote responsible cat ownership. Registered breeders have special conditions with which they must comply.

Where the money levied from cat registration will go, and how the new legislation will be enforced, remains to be seen. I would hope that the money raised would be quarantined for animal management, just like most of us would prefer speed camera fines to be used to improve road safety. If the money raised goes straight into general revenue then we may be replacing a Carbon Tax with a Cat Tax. I’m not sure how the legislation will be enforced as local council Rangers have a full workload and I can’t see the State Government that enacted this legislation putting more boots on the ground in the current climate of spending cutbacks. We will have to wait and see.

Posted in News

Mad Journalists Threaten Dogs !

October 19th, 2013

With apologies to and in acknowledgement of the fine and ethical doctors,lawyers and journalists of my acquaintance, and to Private Eye.

Follwing today’s front page of The Not-the-Eastern-States- And-Don’t-You-Forget-It Australian with the (possibly literally) screaming headline “DOG BITE PAIN” which featured the quotes (selective, we hope) of Dr Jenna Raleigh-Sation : “People need to realise that dogs are very dangerous” and Ms Ambulance-Chaser of Sue,Grabbit & Run attorneys-at-law (Australasia) Inc.: “the bacteria in a dog’s mouth increased the risk of infection and sometimes led to limbs being amputated”, this website sent a fearless reporter to seek the opinion of a WA Vet, any WA vet, Dr Y Dinyaskmee about this, by any standards, serious issue of dog bites and children.

Fresh from a severe mauling at the hands of a six week old Labrador puppy that he had been inoculating Dr Dinyaskmee had this to say:

“Well,I read the article and immediately thought of  all the people dogs have helped : Guide Dogs,Hearing Dogs,Assistance Dogs,dogs that visit hospitals and old age homes (including PMH), dogs that provide companionship to the elderly, the infirm and, most pertinently children. Kids and adults that would be unbearably lonely if they didn’t have the unconditional love of their dog. Dogs help physical health as well as mental health – children born into a home with a dog are proven to have a better immune system.And I could go on .. It would have been nice if Dr Jenna had acknowledged this by saying “a tiny minority of dogs are very dangerous” or even just used the word “some” but then I guess she just wouldn’t be Dr Jenna”.

“Not sure about Ms Ambulance-Chaser’s remarks either.Great exposure for her law firm but I have to say that cats have way nastier bacteria in their mouths than dogs and the only animals I know that have worse oral bacterial flora than pussycats are – you and me! And yes, human bites are very dangerous! In fact Dr Jenna, if we take out the tiny, tiny proportion of untimely demises and injuries from sharks, flying foxes,dogs and other animal related accidents (horses,livestock etcetera) I would venture that most unnatural deaths and assaults can be laid at the feet of people (in or out of cars). So Dr Jenna and “The Not-The-Eastern-States Australian” can we have a follow-up front page article on the risk posed to children by — other people! No.I thought not.”

Ignoring the fifteen year old toothless pampered Pug who was exposing his left femoral artery with a series of violent lacerations to his inner thigh, our stoical veterinarian continued:

“This is not my field and I don’t have access to the data to support it but I would hazard a guess that a sizeable proportion, probably a majority, of dog bites sustained by children are from their own family dog. Owning a dog is a personal choice that almost 50% of Australians choose to make – are we suggesting that should be illegal? A further tranche of cases would involve dogs owned by family or friends, and as seems inevitable with statistics quoted in this kind of reporting there is no indication of severity; just total numbers. It seems to suit the journalists involved to leave the threat of random dog attacks hanging in the air to terrify their readers. That’s gossip, not serious journalism.”

“Ms Ambulance-Chaser touches on irresponsible dog ownership. She is on surer ground here – there are a tiny minority (that phrase again) of owners oblivious to the capacity of their dog to cause inconvenience and, in rare cases, injury to fellow citizens. A meathead and a dangerous dog are a potent combination. Thankfully there are very few people in our community like this, because finding the dog after an attack, bringing the owner to court and extracting an appropriate punishment seems inordinately difficult. Perhaps Ms Ambulance-Chaser would like to turn her attention to our judicial system.”

“They’re right about one thing though – dog bites hurt!”

Posted in News

The Cat Act will soon be upon us

August 7th, 2013

The new Cat Act comes into force on 1st November 2013. I will blog about it closer to that time.

I keep my own cat inside and I recommend you do too. Just by doing that you prevent your cat falling victim to motor vehicle accidents, cat fight abscesses and feline leukaemia and feline AIDS. Plus the vaccinations are cheaper!

Posted in News

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